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Home : Articles :
Naming His Church

 

The Denomination Is An Abomination
By Andy Zoppelt

The word denomination means "to name." How would the apostle Paul or Jesus respond if someone would have given "their church" a name during their ministry? Would outraged be a good word?

Paul said in Ephesians 3:14-15: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom (the Father) the whole family (the Church) in heaven and earth is named."

We are named after the Father, how dare we be so conceded and full of pride to name our churches after men or some catchy phrase. Yet, we do it without a second thought. We do it as though it is as natural as John 3:16. As though we have a mandate from Jesus or Paul. We use such names as Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, and Church of Christ. but how about the new names, New covenant, Calvary Chapel, Christian Life, Christian Fellowship, Faith Tabernacle, etc.. the naming is without an end…. and so the divisions.

Being a Christian makes us a member of the family of God, a child of God, a part of the church of God. The Father calls us the "Called-out-ones, the saints, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, these names are not names we call our groups or meeting places, these are words spoken from the Father to His children. It is a description not a denomination.

My last name is Zoppelt, my family doesn't meet in a building called Zoppelt or some name given by one of my children. No! We meet as a family and we are made up of a father, a wife and children… not an institution.

The Church is the kingdom of God, can you imagine John or Jesus preaching the "kingdom of the Baptists" or the "kingdom of the Methodists"?

John 17 contains the high-priestly prayer of Jesus before His death on the cross. In verse 11, He prayed, "Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one (one name, one body), as we are one."

The church is a family relationship, and we don't put names on families. The family carries the name of their Father. The church meets in the name of the Father. We are relational, not institutional.

There is a vast difference between meeting in the name of the Father and naming our meeting places after whatever name "we" decide. Some might therefore think we should name our place of meeting the "Church of God," or maybe, the "Church of Christ," but this is still putting a name on an earthly ministry limited to a specific ministry and dividing us from what He calls His called-out ones. God's body can not be regulated by man's doctrine or man's choosing. man attempts to put a name on something related to their own ministry and not letting the Father put His name on us. We therefore make denominations out of names like "church of God" and "Church of Christ."

The institutional Church thinks in terms of corporate, impersonal, commercial, business, company, structural, organizational, etc..

Who dare stand before Jesus carrying the name they have decided for His body? How dare we throw in the face of Jesus' prayer for unity our various names that have only deepened the division of His body?

Division has driven us to blaspheme without a second thought and our deception has failed us to further inquire into the nature of the consequences of our actions.

Jesus said in John 5:43, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive."

This idea of naming was first started by the Corinthians, they used the apostles names to segregate and separate their groups one from the other. They sought an identity separate and apart from Christ. 1 Cor 1:12-13, "Now I say this, that each of you says, 'I am of Paul,' or 'I am of Apollos,' or 'I am of Cephas,' or 'I am of Christ.' Is Christ divided?"

Also we see the same kind of man-made pattern in Mark 9:5-8, "Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You (Jesus denomination), one for Moses (Moses denomination), and one for Elijah (Elijah denomination)' because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!'" By hearing Jesus, God will build His church. "Let him who has ears to hear, let him hear."

This naming for the purpose of dividing and exalting oneself is seen in the building of the tower of Babel? ….Babylon.

Gen 11:4, "And they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.'"

Whenever we are asleep, we justify our deceptions untill our deceptions become the traditions of men. God is looking for new wine skins for the new wine being poured out today. Upon the Father, He Jesus, will build "His" called-out-ones.

If you can read this and it doesn't bother you, check your pulse, you might have become an old wine skin.

Eph 1:20-21, "He (the Father) raised Him (Jesus) from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion (Denominations), and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come."

Above "every name that is named," what a fearful statement to the importance of a name.

Phil 2:9, "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,"

Heb 2:11-13. "For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one (not divided by men's names), for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: 'I will declare Your name to My brethren (the called-out-ones); In the midst of the assembly (the meetings of the called-out-ones) I will sing praise to You.' And again: 'I will put My trust in Him.' And again: 'Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.'"

James, speaking of the rich, says, "Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?" James 2:7

Jesus warns the church of Sardis, "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead." Rev 3:1

We have taken the sacred name of Jesus' body and commercialized it, ignoring this great blasphemous act will not prove profitable and the judgment seat of Christ. Many will be cast in hell for assuming a position of such authority as to name His body.

Last Sunday as we met together, a discussion was presented to where we should go next. God has been leading us step by step. Though we have taken many strides forward, it seems the distance between the early church and our meetings presents a monumental gap and we have a long way to go.

Russ, one of the brothers in the fellowship, was reading from Nehemiah and reading how those who came out of Babylon (called-out-ones) came to Jerusalem and saw the city burned and destroyed. Many were born in Babylon and had never seen the city of Jerusalem; they heard the stories of the great city, its nobility among the nations, its great kings, its temple, its walls and the power of its God.

Here is what he was reading:

Neh 8:6-10, "And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. ….So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly (as it is), and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

May we learn to read the word of "God distinctly." Such reading will brings us to our knees and cause us to weep.

At the point where he read, "all the people wept," some began to weep and it was at that point he read from Nehemiah. We pray that the Lord might get glory in our midst and that we might meet to please Him and live for Him.

Last week God joined us with another house church in Miami. The fellowship was beyond description. I am meeting with another house church in Miami, I pray that God will bring His people together and lead many out of Babylon (the institutional way of perverting church) and into His church. A church without wrinkle and spot. For now we only see the ashes and the destruction of the early church… I pray that God will wake and stir those who have a heart to rise up and be a part of His family…. The called-out-ones.

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